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Why didn’t Hue Jackson Stay in Cincinnati?

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Dec 13, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson looks on in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Steelers won 33-20. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson looks on in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Steelers won 33-20. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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In the soap opera that is the Cleveland Browns, one beacon of light seems to be shining through, and that is former Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. Now the Browns head coach, Jackson is finally getting the recognition he earned in the eyes of many around the NFL. 

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After many saw Jackson’s firing from the Oakland Raiders in 2011 as a mistake, Jackson earned his way back with Cincinnati, eventually earning his job in Cleveland as head coach. However, one has to wonder, why now? What makes leaving for Cleveland the best option for Jackson? Sure, anyone can say because it’s a head coaching job, or it’s his chance to make a name for himself, but still, why now?

Yes, all of those are true, but it seems to be the fans that are higher on Jackson than the moguls of the NFL. See, all we see is this charismatic, outspoken, straightforward figure who is no doubt a fan favorite. What the NFL owners see is a guy who wants complete control of a franchise and will stop at nothing to get it.

Let’s rewind a little bit to 2011. Hue Jackson is coming off of a 38-26 loss to the San Diego Chargers that would’ve propelled the Raiders into the playoffs, but instead sent the Cincinnati Bengals backing into the playoffs at 9-7. Jackson is quoted in his press conference saying, “I’m going to take a stronger hand in this whole team, this whole organization.” Probably not the wisest words just 3 months after beloved owner Al Davis passed away. Many believe this attitude ultimately cost Jackson his job.

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  • Fast forward to 2015, and Hue Jackson is coordinating possibly the best offense Bengals fans have ever seen. He’s getting the best and most of Andy Dalton, he’s opening Pandora’s box from a play calling standpoint, and he seems most likely to replace head coach Marvin Lewis. Not so fast.

    In an interview with Fox Sports Daybreak, Fox Sports Senior NFL Reporter Alex Marvez was asked, “Aren’t you surprised Hue Jackson took that job (in Cleveland)?” This question referring to the succession plan that was rumored to be in place for Jackson in Cincinnati, “That’s silly talk,” says Marvez, “If you’re going to keep Hue, then you fire Marvin and promote Hue right away. I think there are some concerns about Hue. He’s a guy who likes power, and after the death of Al Davis, who tried to fill that power void? Hue.”

    Earlier this week, it was reported that Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis approached owner Mike Brown about a succession plan that would promote Jackson to head coach in two years, and Brown did not want to put anything in writing that would guarantee the Jackson the job.

    After hearing this, Hue Jackson decided to take the position in Cleveland, but in retrospect, can you blame Mike Brown? Assuming all of this is true, could the Bengals really afford to hand over their structured front office to a power-hungry coach like Hue Jackson? Simply put, no.

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